Until 2015 walnut-trees plantations to be increased 5-fold

The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry (MAFI) wants to extend the areas of the walnut-trees plantations 5-fold, in order to increase the export volume of qualitative walnut kernel, extremely solicited on European markets. The minister forecasts to attain until 2015 a total area of 16 thousand hectares for this type of plantations. The deputy Minister of MAFI, Anatolie Spivacenco declared for Info-Prim Neo that the plantations expanding process lasts already for 3 years and at the end of the autumn planting works, another 400 hectares will be added in 2006 to those existent 3 thousand hectares. For the next several years about 1 thousand hectares is forecasted to be planted annually. According to him, at present a Fund for supporting walnut cultures is functioning. The resources of this fund are used to create the technical-material base, especially for creating according to the Rules approved by the Government, for subsidizing by 50% the activities related to the production of walnut seeding material, especially for opening grafting laboratories, for planting and maintenance of the plantations. According to some statistics, 10 thousand tones of kernel are exported annually, at the price of 5 euros/kg. The Minister declared that the demand of the persons interested in planting walnut-trees exceeds by far the offer of the nurseries from Moldova. He says that the nurseries promise to offer 1 thousand planned hectares only the next year, although the real demand amounts to 3 thousand hectares. Taking into consideration these facts, MAFI permitted this year the import of walnut seeding material from France. The trees are purchased at a price of about 200 lei, but are accepted for import only superior quality seedling plants. Spivacenco says that only the production of high quality walnut seeding material will be subsidized, in order to obtain good prices for export. In this context, also increasing the profitableness of the agricultural fields is planned by planting seedlings which yield fruits on the 4th year not on the 10th year of growth as used to. According to him, at present the problem of the majority of plantations from Moldova is that the trees are not grafted, have solid nut shells and the kernel is unbinding hardly, which is a result of the production’s bad quality. At the moment, says the minister, no problems appear in the process of subsidizing the activities from the area, because the plantations are not large. In the future MAFI intends to propose amendments to the Law on Walnut-trees and to the mentioned-above regulation, in order to increase the export purveyance quote from 1% to 1.5%, fact that will contribute to accumulating supplementary financial resources and respectively the possibility to subsidize wide walnut plantations in Moldova. At present in Moldova are working about 10 specialized nurseries, which have a solid technical-material base, states Spivacenco. As a rule, the nurseries sell 2 years old seeding material, at the price of 100 lei/seedling. The walnut trees ensure a profitability of 20-22 thousand lei/hectare, income no other culture from Moldova produces, added Anatolie Spivacenco, quoted by Info-Prim Neo.

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